Optimization of a delay-differential model of the immune response to cancer vaccines

Start: 09/26/2007 - 3:00pm
End  : 09/26/2007 - 6:00pm


Dr. Ami Radunskaya ( Pomona College )


Can mathematical models be truly helpful in medical applications? In this talk I will present a new mathematical model developed with immunologist Sarah Hook that uses delay-differential equations to model the immune kinetics in response to tumor antigen. Differential equations with delays occur in many applications, and, mathematically,

they pose considerable challenges in their analysis. In particular, the introduction of delays makes it difficult to analytically apply control techniques to this problem.

The aim of this work is to model the T cell immune response to a vaccine with the goal that the model can be used to aid in the optimisation of vaccine-induced cellular immune responses. Since these responses are much more difficult to measure than antibody levels, often the only option available for researchers and clinicians is the "Goldilocks'' approach to cancer vaccination: give not too much of the vaccine, or too little and give it not too often or too few times.

In this talk I will discuss some of the mathematical difficulties presented by delay-differential models, and will describe several mathematical methods that can be used to suggest immunization protocols that would optimize the immune response.

No previous knowledge of immunology or control theory will be assumed.

The Founder's Room* in Honnold Library *Directions: Enter the library under the bridge. Just inside the door there is a Welcome Desk. Tell the staff member that you're there for the Math Colloquium, and he/she will direct you.

Misc. Information

Coffee & cookies at 4:00 p.m.

Wine and cheese after the talk.

Due to Prof. Radunskaya's schedule, there will be no dinner after the talk.